Don Pedro - Much Ado - Character analysis in GCSE English Literature
Beatrice addresses Leonato's claim that she and Benedick are to Beatrice's bitterness over however her previous relationship with Benedick ended. . marriage, as she doesn't deny that she might be on the man-market ( though she. In Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Claudio and Benedick are friends and In the service of Don Pedro, a prince, both have successfully defeated an. (Lines) for Benedick in "Much Ado about Nothing" Claudio. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato? Benedick. I noted .. because I have railed so long against marriage: but doth not the . in the market-place. Benedick .
Of course, since Benedick is so invested in performing for the others, it is not easy for us to tell whether he has been in lovewith Beatrice all along or falls in love with her suddenly during the play. He attempts to conceal this transformationfrom his friends but really might enjoy shocking them by shaving off his beard and professing undying love to Beatrice. There can be no doubt at this point that Benedick hasswitched his allegiances entirely over to Beatrice.
He is the noblest character in thesocial hierarchy of the play, and his friends Benedick and Claudio, though equals in wit, must always defer to him becausetheir positions depend upon his favor. Don Pedro has power, and he is well aware of it; whether or not he abuses this power isopen to question. Unlike his bastard brother, the villain Don John, Don Pedro most often uses his power and authority towardpositive ends. But like his half-brother, Don Pedro manipulates other characters as much as he likes.
For instance, he insistson wooing Hero for Claudio himself, while masked, rather than allowing Claudio to profess his love to Hero first. Despite his cloudymotives, Don Pedro does work to bring about happiness.
It is his idea, for instance, to convince Beatrice and Benedick that each is in love with the other and by doing so bring the two competitors together. He orchestrates the whole plot and playsthe role of director in this comedy of wit and manners.
Don Pedro is the only one of the three gallants not to end up with a wife at the end. The question necessarilyarises as to why Don Pedro is sad at the end of a joyous comedy. Perhaps his exchange with Beatrice at the masked ball—inwhich he proposes marriage to her and she jokingly refuses him, taking his proposal as mere sport—pains him; perhaps he istruly in love with Beatrice.
The text does not give us a conclusive explanation for his melancholy, nor for his fascination withdissembling. This uncertainly about his character helps to make him one of the most thought-provoking characters in theplay.
Benedick, Claudio, and DonPedro all produce the kind of witty banter that courtiers used to attract attention and approval in noble households. Courtierswere expected to speak in highly contrived language but to make their clever performances seem effortless.
According to this work, the ideal courtier masks his effort and appears to project elegance and naturalgrace by means of what Castiglione calls sprezzatura, the illusion of effortlessness.
Benedick and his companions try todisplay their polished social graces both in their behavior and in their speech. The play pokes fun at the fanciful language of love that courtiers used.
When Claudio falls in love, he tries to be the perfectcourtier by using intricate language. Although the young gallants in the play seem casual in their displays of wit, they constantly struggle tomaintain their social positions. When Claudio believes that Don Pedro has deceived him and wooed Hero not for Claudio but for himself, he cannot drop hispolite civility, even though he is full of despair.
Claudio remains polite and nearly silent even though he is upset, telling Benedick of DonPedro and Hero: Clearly, Claudio chooses his obedience to Don Pedro over his love forHero. Claudio displays social grace, but his strict adherence to social propriety eventually leads him into a trap.
He abandons Heroat the wedding because Don John leads him to believe that she is unchaste marriage to an unchaste woman would be sociallyunacceptable.
In a more lighthearted vein, Beatrice and Benedick are fooled into thinking that each loves theother, and they actually do fall in love as a result. Much Ado About Nothing shows that deceit is not inherently evil, butsomething that can be used as a means to good or bad ends. In the play, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between good and bad deception.
When Claudio announces his desire towoo Hero, Don Pedro takes it upon himself to woo her for Claudio. Then, at the instigation of Don John, Claudio begins tomistrust Don Pedro, thinking he has been deceived. The masking of Hero and the otherwomen reveals that the social institution of marriage has little to do with love. In the end, deceit is neither purely positive nor purelynegative: For a woman to lose her honor by having sexual relations before marriage meant that shewould lose all social standing, a disaster from which she could never recover.
Furthermore, he speaks of her loss of honor as an indeliblestain from which he cannot distance himself, no matter how hard he tries: For women in that era, the loss of honor was a form ofannihilation.
For men, on the other hand, honor depended on male friendship alliances and was more military in nature. Unlike a woman, aman could defend his honor, and that of his family, by fighting in a battle or a duel.
As a woman, Hero cannot seize back her honor, but Benedick can do itfor her via physical combat. In asense, this kind of humiliation incurs more damage to her honor and her family name than would an act of unchastebehavior—an transgression she never commits. The language that both Claudio and Leonato use to shame Hero is extremelystrong. Shame is a form of social punishment closely connected to loss of honor.
A product of an illegitimate sexual couplinghimself, Don John has grown up constantly reminded of his own social shame, and he will do anything to right the balance. Ironically, in the end Don John is shamed and threatened with torture to punish him for deceiving the company. Clearly, hewill never gain a good place in courtly society. In order for a plot hinged on instances of deceit to work, the characters must note one another constantly. When thewomen manipulate Beatrice into believing that Benedick adores her, they conceal themselves in the orchard so that Beatricecan better note their conversation.
Since they know that Beatrice loves to eavesdrop, they are sure that their plot will succeed: Dogberry, Verges, and the rest of the comical night watch discover and arrest Don John because, although ill-equipped to express themselves linguistically, they overhear talk of the Margaret--Borachio staging.
In the end, noting, in the sense of writing, unites Beatrice and Benedick forgood: Hero and Claudio reveal love sonnets written by Beatrice and Benedick, textual evidence that notes and proves theirlove for one another. The characters who merrily spar and fall in love in thebeginning will, of course, end up together in the conclusion. Beatrice compares courtship and marriage to delightful courtdances: By including amasquerade as court entertainment in the middle, as well as two songs and a dance at the end, the play presents itself as sheerentertainment, conscious of its own theatricality.
Aparticularly rich and complex example of counterfeiting occurs as Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro pretend that Beatrice ishead over heels in love with Benedick so that the eavesdropping Benedick will overhear it and believe it.
Luring Benedickinto this trap, Leonato ironically dismisses the idea that perhaps Beatrice counterfeits her desire for Benedick, as he and theothers counterfeit this love themselves: Another, more serious reference to counterfeiting occurs at the wedding ceremony, as Claudio rhetorically paints a picture ofHero as a perfect counterfeit of innocence, unchaste and impure beneath a seemingly unblemished surface: It is not her emotions that arebeing misconstrued, as with Beatrice, but rather her character and integrity.
In the case of the courtship between Beatrice andBenedick, the symbol of a tamed savage animal represents the social taming that must occur for both wild souls to be readyto submit themselves to the shackles of love and marriage. In the opening act, Claudio and Don Pedro tease Benedick about his aversion to marriage, comparing him to awild animal.
Benedick mocks this sentiment, professingthat he will never submit to the will of a woman. While the bull of marriage is the sadly yoked, formerly savage creature, thebull that Claudio refers to comes from the classical myth in which Zeus took the form of a bull and carried off the mortalwoman Europa.
This second bull is supposed to represent the other side of the coin: When Benedick arrives, their witty exchangeresembles the blows and parries of a well-executed fencing match.
Leonato accuses Claudio of killing Hero with words: Later in the same scene, Benedick presents Claudio with a violentverbal challenge: Claudio performs all the actions of mourning Hero, paying a choir to sing adirge at her tomb. She must symbolically die and be reborn pure again in order for Claudio to marry her asecond time. These friends include Don Pedro of Aragon, a highly respected nobleman, and a brave young soldiernamed Claudio, who has won much honor in the fighting. Beatrice cleverly mocks and insults Benedick.
When Benedick tells Beatrice proudly that he has never loved a woman and never will, Beatriceresponds that women everywhere ought to rejoice. Everyone goes off together except Claudio and Benedick.
Claudio shyly asks Benedick what hethinks of Hero, announcing that he has fallen in love with her. He will then talk with Leonato, her father, which should enable Claudio to win Hero without difficulty. Fullof plans and excitement, the three friends head off to get ready for the ball. Don Pedro and the others are just returning from a war in which they have been victorious, seemingly setting thestage for a relaxed, happy comedy in which the main characters fall in love and have fun together.
While the play opens witha strong feeling of joy and calm, the harmony of Messina is certainly to be disturbed later on. One notable characteristic of their attacks upon each other is their ability toextend a metaphor throughout lines of dialogue. Thoughtheir insults are biting, their ability to maintain such clever, interconnected sparring seems to illustrate the existence of astrong bond between them.
Another purpose of the dialogue between Benedick and Beatrice, as well as that among Benedick, Claudio, and Don Pedro, isto explore the complex relationships between men and women.
- Explore the relationships between Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing
- Don Pedro - Much Ado
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Both Benedick and Beatrice claim to scorn love. Benedick thus sets himself up as an unattainable object of desire. Both at this point appear certain that they will never fall in love or marry. Act I, scene iiInside his house, Leonato runs into his elder brother, Antonio. Antonio says that a servant of his overheard Don Pedro talkingwith Claudio outside. Obviously, Antonio hasmisheard the truth: Claudio, not Don Pedro, loves Hero.
Nevertheless, the only part of the conversation Antonio hasintercepted is that Don Pedro will woo Hero that evening. But he declares that he will tell Hero about it, so that she may think about what shewants to say in response to Don Pedro, should this bit of information prove true.
Conrad asks Don John why he appears angry andmelancholy.
The character relationships in the play much ado about nothing
Don John replies that he is naturally depressed and somber; he lacks the skills—or the willpower—to change hisface to suit other people.
Conrad reminds Don John that Don Pedro has only very recently started to be friendly with himagain, and if Don John wants to remain on good terms with his powerful brother, he ought to show a more cheerful face.
He realizes that Don Pedro plans to court Hero in order to give her toClaudio. Don John, who hates Claudio for being so well loved and respected, decides to try to use this information to maketrouble for Claudio. Conrad and Borachio swear to help him. Act I, scenes ii—iiiOverhearing, plotting, and misunderstanding occur frequently in Much Ado About Nothing, as characters constantlyeavesdrop or spy on other characters. Occasionally they learn the truth, but more often they misunderstand what they see orhear, or they are tricked into believing what other people want them to believe.
He carries this incorrect informationonward, first to Leonato and then to Hero. It appears that Don John has no strong motive for the villainy he commits and that his actions are inspired by a bad nature,something he acknowledges fully: His insistence on honesty in this scene might appearadmirable, but he lies to many people later on, casting his statements here about being harmless into doubt. In Much Ado About Nothing, Don John is in the difficult position of having to behave well and court favor with his morepowerful brother, Don Pedro, while at the same time being excluded from the privileges Don Pedro enjoys because of hisillegitimacy.
Don John is bitter about the restrictions imposed upon him: Instead, he seems to want to take out his frustrations by manipulating and hurting other people for his own amusement. Act II, scene i[H]e that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.
This exchange leads into a conversation about whether or not Beatrice will ever get a husband, and Beatricelaughingly claims that she will not. Leonato and Antonio also remind Hero about their belief that Don Pedro plans to proposeto her that evening.
The other partygoers enter, and the men put on masks. Supposedly, the women now cannot tell who themen are. The music begins, and the dancers pair off and hold conversations while they dance.
Meanwhile, DonPedro dances with Hero and begins to flirt with her. Benedick dances with Beatrice, who either does not recognize him orpretends not to. She insults Benedick thoroughly to her dancing partner, saying that while Benedick thinks that he is wittyothers find him completely boring. The music leads many of the dancers away into corners of the stage, creating various couplings. Don John, who has seen hisbrother Don Pedro courting Hero, decides to make Claudio jealous by making him think that Don Pedro has decided to winand keep Hero for himself instead of giving her to Claudio as he had promised.
Pretending not to recognize Claudio behindhis mask, Don John addresses him as if he were Benedick, mentioning to him that, contrary to their plan, Don Pedro actuallycourts Hero for himself and means to marry her that very night.
Claudio believes Don John, and, when the real Benedick enters a few moments later, the angry and miserable Claudio rushesout. But when Don Pedro comes in along with Hero and Leonato, Benedick learns that Don Pedro has been true to his wordafter all; he has courted and won Hero for Claudio, not for himself, just as he promised.
Benedick still remains bitter aboutthe nasty things Beatrice said to him during the dance, so when Beatrice approaches with Claudio, he begs Don Pedro to sendhim on some extremely arduous errand rather than be forced to endure her company.
Don Pedro laughingly insists that hestay, but Benedick leaves anyway. Claudio,overwhelmed, can barely speak, but he and Hero privately make their promises to one another. Beatrice half-seriouslyremarks that she will never have a husband, and Don Pedro offers himself to her.
Beatrice, comparing him to fancy clothes, replies that she wishes she could have him but that he would be too lavish and valuable for her to wear every day.
Claudio wants the wedding tooccur the next day, but Leonato decides on the coming Monday, only a week away. Claudio regrets that the wait will be solong, but Don Pedro comes up with a good way to pass the time: He secures the promises of Leonato, Claudio, andHero to help him in the plan he will devise. While Claudio can find few words to express his joy, Hero can find none. But here we see that Claudio is prone to making rash decisions.
Acknowledging that Don Pedro seems to be wooing Hero forhimself, Claudio declares that: Save in the office and affairs of love. This time, Beatrice gets the better of Benedick while Benedick cannot defend himself. We see how apt her comments are when Benedick cannot stoprepeating her words to himself later in the scene.
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Moreover, the fact that Benedick begs Don Pedro frantically to let him leaveso he will not have to talk to Beatrice suggests that he finds her company not simply annoying but also damaging. Though Beatrice repeats in this scene her intention never to marry, her attitude seems a little changed.
A certain wistfulnessmarks her words as she watches the betrothal of Hero to Claudio: There goes everyone to the worldbut I, and I am sunburnt.
Beatrice jests, as always, butit is hard to tell how seriously she takes this matter. Act II, scenes ii—iiiBy my troth it is no addition to her wit—nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her.
Act II, scene iiThe bitter and wicked Don John has learned of the upcoming marriage of Claudio and Hero, and he wishes that he could finda way to prevent it.
He suggests that Don John go to Claudio and Don Pedro and tell them that Hero is not a virgin but a whore, a woman who has willingly corrupted her own innocence before her marriage and at the same time chosen to beunfaithful to the man she loves.
Very pleased with the plan, Don John promises Borachio a large reward if he can pull it off andprevent the planned wedding.
They know that Benedick is currently wandering around in the garden, wonderingaloud to himself how, although he knows that love makes men into idiots, any intelligent man can fall in love. He pondershow Claudio can have turned from a plain-speaking, practical soldier into a moony-eyed lover.
Benedick thinks it unlikelythat he himself will ever become a lover. Suddenly, Benedick hears Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato approaching, and he decides to hide among the trees in the arborand eavesdrop. They begin to talk loudly, pretending that they have just learned that Beatrice has fallen in love withBenedick. Benedick, hidden in the arbor, asks himself in shock whether this can possibly be true. But Don Pedro, Leonato,and Claudio embellish the story, talking about how passionately Beatrice adores Benedick, and how they are afraid that herpassion will drive her insane or spur her to suicide.
She dares not tell Benedick, they say, for fear that he would make fun ofher for it—since everyone knows what his mocking personality would do. They all agree that Benedick would be a fool toturn her away, for he currently seems unworthy of so fine a woman as Beatrice.
The others go in to have dinner, and the amazed Benedick, emerging from the arbor, plunges himself into profound thought. He has changed his mind, and far from wanting to remain an eternal bachelor, he now desires to win andmarry Beatrice.
Beatrice appears, having been sent out to fetch Benedick in to dinner. She deals as scornfully as usual withhim, but he treats her with unusual flattery and courtesy.
Confused and suspicious, Beatrice mocks him again beforedeparting, but the infatuated Benedick interprets her words as containing hidden messages of love, and he happily runs off tohave a portrait made of her so that he can carry it around with him. Once again, we mustwonder about his motives, as his desire to hurt others so badly is inconsistent with his claim to be a low-grade villain.
In the Renaissance, the virginity of an upper-class woman at the time of her marriage carried a great deal of importance fornot only her own reputation but also for that of her family and her prospective husband.
Thisplot is far more than a merely troublesome game. Meanwhile, a different kind of trick occurs in the garden, as Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro work together to try toconvince Benedick that Beatrice is in love with him. Benedick, of course, unknowingly finds himself caught in the positionof being the one deceived.
He believes that he is eavesdropping upon his friends, but, because they are aware of his presence,they deliberately speak louder so that he will hear them. The world mustbe peopled. By the time Beatrice herself appears to order him in to dinner, Benedick is so far gone that he is able to reinterpret all herwords and actions as professions of her love for him—doubtless a hilarious scene for the audience, since Beatrice is hostile toBenedick, and the audience knows that she is not at all in love with him.
Later on, Benedick even tries his hand at writing asonnet to Beatrice.
The Character Relationships In The Play Much Ado About Nothing
Sonnets and miniature portraits were the typical accoutrements of the Renaissance lover, male or female. Act III, scenes i—iiSummary: With the help of her two waitingwomen, Margaret and Ursula, she plans to hold a conversation and let Beatrice overhear it—just as Don Pedro, Leonato, andClaudio have done to trick Benedick in the previous scene. Margaret lures Beatrice into the garden, and when Hero andUrsula catch sight of where she is hiding, they begin to talk in loud voices.
Friendship is constant in all other things Save in the office and affairs of love. I pray you leave me. She does not want to be seen as less important just because she is a woman, she expresses her views blatantly.
But how many hath he killed? A lot of caesura is used in this quote, it makes you read it slower and this drags it out making it more dramatic, the author wants you to feel more sympathy for the man and to think that what she did was unacceptable.
This is why later on their friends think that they are well suited to each other and try to get each other to fall in love. And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee. No glory lives behind the back of such. While this was reflected and emphasized in certain plays of the period, it was also challenged. Analysis and criticism[ edit ] Style[ edit ] The play is one of the few in the Shakespeare canon where the majority of the text is written in prose.
He is saying that he thinks that she is just as special as any woman that other poets have made fake comparisons about. However, being married means that Beatrice will occupy his time a lot and he will no longer have such good friendships, there is also still a chance of him being cuckolded which could undo him as a man. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare develops the relationship between Benedick and Beatrice Throughout the entire play of 'Much Ado About Nothing', Beatrice and Benedick are the main characters of the play, although the main story line focuses on the characters of Hero and Claudio.
A list of all the characters in Much Ado About Nothing. The Much Ado About Nothing characters covered include: He is the most politically and socially powerful character in the play.
Don Pedro is generous, courteous, intelligent, and loving to his friends, but he is also quick to believe evil of others and hasty to take revenge. Much Ado about Nothing: Daughter of Leonato, Governor of Messina. Before the masked ball she says she will never marry.